I love Sam :)
I love his love for Edith :) Please meet Sam's Edith, by clicking HERE
And his stories about working his way to financial success in the USA, and THEN going about finding "the right one" to marry. His own family were still in Austria, which had been taken by Hitler. They had seen the Nazi advance and had found a way to send their 19-year-old son, Sam, to America before Austria was taken.
I like his stories of army life when he joined up to fight with America in World War 2.
I like hearing about his adventures as an intelligence officer, talking with (not "interrogating", certainly no torture - more like... joking around with / befriending(?)) captured German troops to gain information. Of course, his German was perfect, so he could act as a superior German officer... or he could put POWs at ease, offer a cigarette & empathy & conversation... and valuable information eventually finds its way out...
If there are biographers or historical fiction writers out there who would be interested in Sam's stories, please do make a date to talk with him :) Sharp as a tack!
This officer & a gentleman celebrated his 100th Birthday in June :)
He savored the hugs & love from his grandchildren, Hannah & Sarah above, his two sons, and so many family & friends celebrating him together.
Now that his Edith has gone ahead of him, he is living alone. You know what he said is REALLY NEEDED at senior living centers??????
A pat on the shoulder.
A shake of a hand, or a held hand...
The little touches that we use every day to show care...
This centenarian laments that our society right now is ... a little .... too careful about that (?) Hmmm.... Maybe I have a future in a Hugs-and-Conversation Volunteer Corps at local assisted living homes :)
In the past few years, it has been such a pleasure of mine to make portraits of Sam's granddaughters - Hannah's senior portraits are here, and Sam and Edith so enjoyed Sarah's Bat Mitzvah celebration, here. Sam paints portraits, and so regrets that he did not get to finish his portrait of his daughter-in-law, Doreen, based on a headshot Doreen & I had made for him - click here to see Sam's favorite headshot of Doreen - (haha! so just kidding, Doreen! not a link!). His fingers won't hold the brush so well any more now! He's one of my biggest fans, and I am one of his!! :) Happy 100th Birthday again, Mr. Sam Butterklee :)
(And please correct me if I mis-remembered any particulars from conversations! Thanks!)